53 posts tagged with privacy and Google.
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"Nothing fades away anymore."

The Solace of Oblivion by Jeffrey Toobin [The New Yorker] "In Europe, the right to be forgotten trumps the Internet."
posted by Fizz on Sep 22, 2014 - 22 comments

DuckDuckGo

Here's how one small company is slowly, surely beating its way into the most monopolized category in technology: Inside DuckDuckGo, Google's Tiniest, Fiercest Competitor.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 1, 2014 - 66 comments

Google detects child porn images in user's gmail, leading to arrest

Google's updated Terms of Service state explicitly that the company automatically analyzes all email content to create targeted advertising. This case, in which Google identified child porn images in a user's email message, leading to his arrest, seems to be one of the first known instances of Google monitoring personal gmail accounts for illegal activity. The arrest raises questions over the privacy of personal email and Google's role in policing the web. [more inside]
posted by argonauta on Aug 4, 2014 - 75 comments

Journey to the Centre of Google Earth

“But what shall we dream of when everything becomes visible?” Virilio replies: “We’ll dream of being blind."
posted by 0bvious on Jun 24, 2014 - 5 comments

Thanks for nothing, jerkface

With Google+, it became clear that we were all little more than webs of flesh spun over packages of saleable data. The rise and fall of Google+ once again engenders strong feelings, this time in Violet Blue.
posted by telstar on Jun 7, 2014 - 107 comments

Peak Advertising and the Future of the Web

"Advertising is not well. Though companies supported by advertising still dominate the landscape and capture the popular imagination, cracks are beginning to show in the very financial foundations of the web. Despite the best efforts of an industry, advertising is becoming less and less effective online. The once reliable fuel that powered a generation of innovations on the web is slowly, but perceptibly beginning to falter. Consider the long-term trend: when the first banner advertisement emerged online in 1994, it reported a (now) staggering clickthrough rate of 78%. By 2011, the average Facebook advertisement clickthrough rate sat dramatically lower at 0.05%. Even if only a rough proxy, something underlies such a dramatic change in the ability for an advertisement to pique the interest of users online. What underlies this decline, and what does it mean for the Internet at large? This short [PDF] paper puts forth the argument for peak advertising—the argument that an overall slowing in online advertising will eventually force a significant (and potentially painful) shift in the structure of business online. Like the theory of Peak Oil that it references, the goal is not to look to the immediate upcoming quarter, but to think on the decade-long scale about the business models that sustain the Internet." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 3, 2014 - 173 comments

Security Sunday

Ars Technica reports on malicious extensions on the Chrome web browser, which install advertising-based malware that hijack links and inject ad content. Further speech recognition exploits (source) leave open the opportunity for malicious sites to record sound captured by the user's web browser without permission.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 26, 2014 - 30 comments

Aviator

Aviator, a web browser from WhiteHat Security. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Oct 30, 2013 - 53 comments

All Your ***** Belong To Us

Google knows almost every wi-fi password. Of course this means that the NSA also has access to them. Apple might not be much better.
posted by blue shadows on Sep 16, 2013 - 97 comments

If your suffering leads to our suffering, you may be liable for damages.

The new documentary "Terms And Conditions May Apply," about the privacy overreach of major tech companies, presents its trailer on a cleverly written page of terms and conditions.
posted by mark7570 on Jul 11, 2013 - 11 comments

Alternatives to Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, etc.

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored by the FBI and NSA, with Dropbox "coming soon." So what can you do? Use some alternatives. As Gabriel Weinberg, founder of DuckDuckGo, told NPR: "we made the choice to just not track people so there is nothing to turn over."
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 26, 2013 - 118 comments

Based on your history, we know you are interested in cephalopods.

I turned around to face an approaching figure. It was Larry Page, naked, save for a pair of eyeglasses. “Welcome to Google Island. I hope my nudity doesn’t bother you. We’re completely committed to openness here. Search history. Health data. Your genetic blueprint. One way to express this is by removing clothes to foster experimentation. It’s something I learned at Burning Man,” he said.
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 17, 2013 - 30 comments

Transcript of secret meeting between Julian Assange and Eric Schmidt

On the 23 of June, 2011 a secret five hour meeting took place between WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who was under house arrest in rural UK at the time and Google CEO Eric Schmidt. We provide here a verbatim transcript of the majority of the meeting; a close reading, particularly of the latter half, is revealing.
[more inside]
posted by palbo on Apr 25, 2013 - 40 comments

You Are What You See

Google Glasses are being tested by tech writers as we speak. But are they a good thing? The long awaited Project Glass is nearly here. There are articles about them here, here, and here among many others. But is it a good thing? Questions are being asked both about safety and about privacy. Everything good, bad and ugly about the online world is about to get more intense. Are you ready?
posted by BillW on Mar 25, 2013 - 218 comments

The effects of modern mapping

How Google and Apple's digital mapping is mapping us "Digital maps on smartphones are brilliantly useful tools, but what sort of information do they gather about us – and how do they shape the way we look at the world?"
posted by peacay on Aug 29, 2012 - 44 comments

Abine Googlesharing

Stop data collection by Google: Abine introduces Googlesharing for Firefox [beta].
posted by Rykey on Jun 25, 2012 - 37 comments

"And with millions of chicks checking in daily, there's never been a better time to be on the hunt...."

A column by John Brownlee over at Cult of Mac yesterday highlighted his privacy concerns about the app Girls Around Me -- which used a mashup of FourSquare check-ins, Google Maps and Facebook public profile information to show the user women who were nearby. In response to the story, Foursquare cut off the app's API access to their data, effectively knocking it out of commission. CNET: How to prevent friends checking you into locations at Facebook Places. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 31, 2012 - 99 comments

Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

"The Obama Administration today unveiled a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights as part of a comprehensive blueprint to protect individual privacy rights and give users more control over how their information is handled." Full 62-page PDF - Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy. "In addition, advertising networks announced that leading Internet companies and online advertising networks are committing to act on Do Not Track technology in most major web browsers to make it easier for users to control online tracking. Companies that represent the delivery of nearly 90 percent of online behavioral advertisements, including Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and AOL have agreed to comply when consumers choose to control online tracking. Companies that make this commitment will be subject to FTC enforcement." [more inside]
posted by cashman on Feb 23, 2012 - 30 comments

If you have nothing to hide, why do you have curtains on your windows?

How to Remove Your Google Search History Before Google's New Privacy Policy Takes Effect on 1 March If you want to keep Google from combining your Web History with the data they have gathered about you in their other products, such as YouTube or Google Plus, you may want to remove all items from your Web History and stop your Web History from being recorded in the future.
posted by Sebmojo on Feb 22, 2012 - 76 comments

Google, Wyden, Kirk, and Chaffetz

American law enforcement demands for Google users’ personal information surged by 29 percent during the past six months according to Google's transparency report. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 29, 2011 - 41 comments

Opt-out?

Visa and MasterCard have decided to start selling information about your purchasing history to advertisers. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 26, 2011 - 111 comments

you can have my nym when you pry it from my cold dead signature file

The "nymwars" rage on. Despite a passionate post on their own public policy blog earlier this year, outlining all of the reasons that Google is a strong supporter of the use of pseudonyms on the internet, Google is continuing to take an uncharacteristically draconian approach to the use of pseudonyms on Google+. Google+ users with pseudonyms not only risk losing access to Google+, but also access to other Google services including Picasa and Google Reader as well. Naturally, this is a significant inconvenience for users who are known primarily by their pseudonyms, and a more significant inconvenience to users who use pseudonyms to protect the physical safety of themselves and their families. [previously] [more inside]
posted by luvcraft on Aug 26, 2011 - 152 comments

The logical conclusion of our relationship to computers: expectantly to type “what is the meaning of my life” into Google.

It’s for your own good—that is Google’s cherished belief. If we want the best possible search results, and if we want advertisements suited to our needs and desires, we must let them into our souls. James Gleick writes about 'How Google Dominates Us' for the New York Review of Books. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty on Aug 1, 2011 - 61 comments

Egg on their Facebooks

Last Friday, USA Today reported that two people from PR firm Burson-Marsteller had been contacting various news outlets and bloggers, pushing a story about how Google's "Social Circle" gmail feature violates users' privacy. The pitch was made on behalf of an unnamed client that The Daily Beast now confirms was Facebook. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 12, 2011 - 104 comments

Moooom, Daaaad, Google's being weird again!

Google's Doodle-4-Google program, where kids can design a variation of the company's homepage logo, is creating a bit of stir this year with the requirement of the child's social security number. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 23, 2011 - 37 comments

We don't need you to type at all

"With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches," [Google CEO Eric Schmidt] said. "We don't need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about... We can look at bad behavior and modify it." The Atlantic's editor James Bennet discusses with Schmidt how lobbyists write America's laws, how America's research universities are the best in the world, how the Chinese are going all-out in investing in their infrastructure, how the US should have allowed automakers to fail, and ultimately Google's evolving role in an technologically-augmented society in this broad, interesting and scary interview (~25 min Flash video) [via]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 4, 2010 - 55 comments

GStalk

A Google engineer was recently fired for spying on several teens through their GTalk, Gmail, and Google Voice accounts.

He accessed contact lists and chat transcripts, and in one case quoted from an IM that he'd looked up behind the person's back... In another incident, Barksdale unblocked himself from a Gtalk buddy list even though the teen in question had taken steps to cut communications with the Google engineer.

Google statement confirming the shenanigans.
posted by swift on Sep 15, 2010 - 96 comments

Cyberspace has everted.

Google's Earth by William Gibson.
posted by xowie on Sep 1, 2010 - 92 comments

"It is possible that this has been the largest privacy breach in history across Western democracies"

"Google WiFi Snafu Likely Illegal." In May, Google admitted "inadvertently" collecting data from unsecured networks with its Streetview cars, resulting in investigations around the world and in the US. Activist Attorney General (and current US Senate candidate) Richard Blumenthal has lined up Google in his target sights (and recommended residents change their passwords), and six class action lawsuits have already been filed.
posted by availablelight on Jun 9, 2010 - 129 comments

Whoopsgle!

Google accidentally collects private data over WiFi networks. Affects US, Brazil, Hong Kong, Germany, France. Google apologizes & explains & promises to knock it off. Plus the data was kind of all just hanging out there, unencrypted. So all is well, right? [more inside]
posted by chavenet on May 14, 2010 - 73 comments

Your upload has been queued for screening - Expect it to go live within the next 12 - 24 months

In 2006 some Italian teenagers filmed themselves assaulting a youth with Down Syndrome and uploaded the video to Google Video Italia. It was pulled from the site within hours, but that did not satisfy the Italian Down Syndrome support group named Vivi Down, who filed a complaint that resulted in a two-year investigation. That lead to charges and indictment of four Google executives, who were never aware of the video until after it had been removed, for violating Italy’s privacy code. Today the Italian court ruled that three of the four - chief legal officer David Drummond, global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer and former CFO George Reyes - are guilty, and sentenced them to 6 months to a year of jail-time. The fourth, Arvind Desikan, former head of Google Video in London, was acquitted. [more inside]
posted by BeerFilter on Feb 24, 2010 - 78 comments

Anonymous Buzzkill

A worrisome set of posts from Princeton University's 'Freedom to Tinker" Blog:
In many situations, it may be far easier to unmask apparently anonymous online speakers than they, I, or many others in the policy community have appreciated. Today, I'll tell a story that helps explain what I mean. Second post: what BoingBoing knows about John Doe. Third, and most concerning post: The traceability of an online anonymous comment. Related post: a well researched review of the privacy concerns around the roll-out of, and push-back against, Google Buzz.
posted by Rumple on Feb 18, 2010 - 41 comments

All Your Online Lives Are Belong To Us

'It's optional if you want to remain anonymous, but what's the point anymore?' A new generation doesn't mind sharing every detail of their lives online. So familiar online companies increasingly don't bother letting you control privacy options from the start, and make it difficult to detach. Are the privacy-concerned folks mostly older individuals who don't see the benefits of connectedness? Or are the people who share just about everything lined up with a pro-corporate culture pushed by marketers? [more inside]
posted by cashman on Feb 16, 2010 - 128 comments

Mozilla exec recommends you Bing it from now on

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." (SLYT) Because of this statement, made by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Mozilla's director of community development Asa Dotzler has informed readers of his personal blog how to change Firefox's default search engine from Google to Bing. This is a pretty interesting stance coming from someone who works for a company that not only directly competes with Microsoft (the owners of Bing), but also derives a huge amount of its revenue from support from Google. (via)
posted by Nyarlathotep on Dec 11, 2009 - 77 comments

Google answers data transparency concerns with Dashboard

This morning, Google launched a new feature called "Google Dashboard" that lets users view (and in some cases control,) what data is being stored on a range of more than 20 Google services, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Web History, Orkut, YouTube, Picasa, Talk, Reader, Alerts and Latitude. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 5, 2009 - 59 comments

Google Street View

Google Street View is currently taking pictures in and around my home village. Google Japan has released a rather cute animated video explaining how the whole process works. Its main aim seems to be to respond to all the criticism regarding privacy issues. It's still cute, though.
posted by Matthias Rascher on Sep 18, 2009 - 9 comments

Google Pedicab

Everybody knows about the Google Van now, some love it, some hate it, but it has become an assumed condition now that, if you're near a street, Google Maps might have your picture (I'm at work!). Living further off the path might seem like a solution to avoid detection, but Google has stepped off the roadway and into more scenic routes with the Google Tricycle. Being unpowered and smaller allows Google to get their 360° photographs from vantage points other than the curb in front of your house. Google Street Views won't just include streets anymore: they plan to cover national parks, bicycle paths, college campuses, theme parks, any any other public place which isn't exactly van-friendly.
posted by AzraelBrown on Jul 15, 2009 - 58 comments

Everyone's Favorite Upstart Mom-and-Pop Search Engine Tries to Yank Watchdog's Funding

Bob Boorstin, Google's Director of Policy Communications, wrote a letter to the Rose Foundation, suggesting that the foundation stop funding Consumer Watchdog, an outspoken Google critic. [more inside]
posted by univac on Feb 26, 2009 - 49 comments

It's not dead, it's just resting

Privacy is dead - get over it [part 2] is a talk by private investigator Steve Rambam. It's a talk he has been giving for a number of years where he shows how privacy is being taken away, not by sinister plots but because people are giving it away. With people putting up everything and nothing on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and so on, as well as a growing quantity of data held in private databases, he shows how easy it is to find out enormous amounts of data on just about anyone. [more inside]
posted by bjrn on Sep 2, 2008 - 65 comments

WhoTubes?

Google has been ordered to turn over all of its electronic records of the videos watched by users on YouTube to Viacom. The 12 terabytes of data include records of every video watched by every user, including the user's login name (if any) and IP address. Google had complained that the disclosure would invade user's privacy, but this argument was blunted somewhat by Google's earlier statement that IP Addresses are not, in and of themselves, personally identifying information. Google was also ordered to turn over certain other information, including its video classification database schema, but was not ordered to turn over information regarding videos marked as private, its source code, or its advertising database schema.
posted by The Bellman on Jul 3, 2008 - 267 comments

Google is forcing social down your throat

A few weeks ago, Google Reader's team decided to show your private data to all your GMail contacts. This is now the default, no need to opt-in. Some people think it's not a big deal. Other's see it as a gross violation of privacy, a warning sign of more violations to come, as evidenced by the recent code updates to Gmail and other Google applications.
posted by m2002 on Dec 29, 2007 - 61 comments

Google Images Censored in China

Google Images Censored in China A picture says 1000 words, and Google.cn is censoring them all. Check out the side-by-side screens of a search for "tiananmen+square" in Google.com and Google.cn images. Looks like a nice place, with little historical significance. You can try the search yourself. The text on the bottom left is the censorship disclaimer. Very different than our results. A far cry from Google's claim that they do not censor results. Nice to know that they stand up to the government here but not abroad.

A good spoof of the whole thing.
posted by FeldBum on Jan 30, 2006 - 57 comments

Privacy and the need or right to know

NSA,FISA, and Privacy It is of course the president who finally approves of actions that may or may not be deemed legal but before 9/11, this is what he had been advised to consider "The largest U.S. spy agency warned the incoming Bush administration in its "Transition 2001" report that the Information Age required rethinking the policies and authorities that kept the National Security Agency in compliance with the Constitution's 4th Amendment prohibition on "unreasonable searches and seizures" without warrant and "probable cause," according to an updated briefing book of declassified NSA documents posted today on the World Wide Web. If this is the sort of reading you enjoy, then by all means dig about here: But then Windows allowed NSA to have a sure access to your machine . And by now we all know that Google will fight the government on making its search data base available in order to protect your privacy.(Reality: to protect Google stuff). And if you worry about search engines tracking you and making data available, then here is a workaround
posted by Postroad on Jan 20, 2006 - 16 comments

Feds want Google search records

Feds want Google search records according to Mercury News. John Batelle has some analysis as well. This isn't looking too good. Google promises to fight it, but even if they do, does a loss still hurt them the same amount?
posted by rhyax on Jan 18, 2006 - 53 comments

Google blacklists journalists for Googling?

Google blacklists CNET reporters? An article about privacy issues that highlighted the potential for abuse if logs of search terms linked with IP addresses are combined by search companies with address and phone data, angered Google CEO Eric Schmidt enough to blacklist CNET reporters for a year, at least according to the bottom of this CNET story. The article begins with information about Schmidt found via Google searches, and goes on to "question Google's ability to adequately balance the heavy burden of safeguarding consumer privacy rights with the pull toward intermingling and mining data for ever more lucrative targeted advertising."
posted by mediareport on Aug 7, 2005 - 18 comments

Google is not your friend.

Google is watching you.... "My Search History lets you easily view and manage your search history from any computer." Given the continuing concerns about Google's respect for privacy, is this a good thing?
posted by jefgodesky on Apr 21, 2005 - 43 comments

Freaky cool or just freaky?

Google Maps now does satellite images which is pretty cool (zoom all the way in), and what everyone predicted they would do with the Keyhole software company they bought. The part that freaks me out is finding my own house with my own car in the driveway, taken last fall (by the looks of construction in the neighborhood). I guess it's time for all of us to have our Streisand moment and wonder when satellite imagery has gotten too good. [via]
posted by mathowie on Apr 4, 2005 - 132 comments

I haven't been invited, damn.

Do no evil... it looks like Orkut would like to 0wn your data. And although the piece is heated, everyone did get incensed over Microsoft's near-identical passport policy. And I know you invited types like Orkut...
posted by bonaldi on Feb 5, 2004 - 28 comments

Google rules!

I half figured this would be posted here by now... The folks at Google have done it again. The Google deskbar has been released. In front of their apparent IPO (previously discussed here), Google rolls out something even cooler than their toolbar. Cue the critics saying that this deskbar violates my privacy somehow. As I hope we all know, Google has fixed the toolbar problems, albeit after people started complaining.
posted by ajpresto on Nov 6, 2003 - 45 comments

Nationalise Google?

Nationalise Google? "Perhaps the time has come to recognise this dominant search engine for what it is - a public utility that must be regulated in the public interest." Bill Thompson from the BBC tells me that Google puts a cookie on my computer that can't be deleted till 2038: "This means that Google builds up a detailed profile of your search terms over many years. Google probably knew when you last thought you were pregnant, what diseases your children have had, and who your divorce lawyer is. It refuses to say why it wants this information or to admit whether it makes it available to the US Government for tracking purposes." Are they "a secretive, hyper-competitive company with no respect for the personal privacy of its users"? Are other search engines better behaved? And is this the beginning of search ethics?
posted by theplayethic on Apr 14, 2003 - 60 comments

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